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The One Thing Subway Is Still Hiding From All Of Us!

Witnessing the power of the Food Babe Army this week has been absolutely incredible. 

On Tuesday, February 4th, I launched a petition for the removal of a dangerous plastic chemical called azodicarbonamide from Subway sandwich bread – the same stuff used in yoga mats, shoe rubber and synthetic leather. This was after repeated attempts to reach out to Subway since June of 2012 to learn more about why they are using this (asthma inducing and potentially carcinogenic) chemical here in North America and not in any other countries. They never responded until now. 

Within 24 hours, the petition received over 50,000 signatures, and Subway’s social media channels were completely overrun by concerned citizens and the Food Babe Army. I want to thank the countless number of friends, family members, fellow bloggers, organizations, and everyday citizens who took swift action to tell Subway we deserve the same safer ingredients they use overseas.  

To date, the petition has received over 78,000 signatures and counting. 


Late Wednesday afternoon in an email to me from Michelle Dinello, Director of Corporate Communications, Subway announced they would be removing this ingredient from their sandwiches “soon”. In this email, she apologized for not responding sooner and specifically to my inquiry on January 25th that went unanswered. They said “that we are already in the process of removing azodicarbonamide from our bread as part of our ongoing bread improvement program” and additionally told reporters that their change had nothing to do with the petition. We know this is just a corporate spin and how big companies operate. They don’t want us to know how much power we have over their decisions. We’ve seen this kind of deceptive marketing move before when Gatorade took out a flame retardant chemical and said it had nothing to do with a petition with over 200k signatures. And again, most recently in Kraft, when they started removing artificial food dyes from their Mac & Cheese and said it had nothing to do with our 350k signatures petition. Since Subway has been exploiting us with unsafe ingredients that are prohibited in other countries for all these years, wouldn’t it be nice if they’d just be straight with us?

As soon as I received this email, I wrote back and asked for a timeline and asked if they would provide the new ingredient list.

There’s been dead silence on their end. Every single reporter I talked with yesterday and today (over 30) has tried to get the same answer from Subway headquarters and they aren’t responding. I went live on CNN yesterday afternoon talking about this. I’ve heard nothing. I sent another followup email this morning. 

We cannot call this a victory until we know the facts. Please keep spreading the word, and ask Subway to give a timeline.

We know nothing about their changes. Are they going to be using the same ingredients they do overseas? This would mean they would also have to eliminate caramel coloring, yeast extract, and GMOs from their bread – which would be fantastic! What do they plan to do? No one knows. 

Subway1 Subway 4

Keep the pressure on. They hope we’ll celebrate and just go away. The Food Babe Army is too strong and committed for that. 

Every time you see a Subway commercial, advertisement or walk or drive past a store – take the time to ask yourself, how long will it take for Subway to stop serving plastic to their customers? 

The worldwide news coverage of this event has been miraculous – from China to India to Canada to Sweden to Mexico. I spent the last 2 days talking to as many reporters as possible so we could get our voices heard. I cry tears of joy realizing that so many more people will now have their eyes opened to what is really happening in the food supply and that eating at Subway is not “Fresh”.  As of now, there are over 450 news stories about the petition according to Google News, here are a few:

ABC News – Subway takes chemical out of bread after protest

USA Today – Subway to remove chemical from bread

NY Daily News – Subway will remove additive found in plastics from its bread after blogger’s online petition

CNN – Meet the ‘food babe’ who helped convince Subway to remove chemical from bread

Canada CBC News –  Subway agrees to end use of controversial chemical after food blogger Vani Hari’s protest

Late Night With Jimmy Fallon – (HILARIOUS) Subway Yoga Mat Controversy

What’s Next?

Please take action. Keep sharing the petition, keep going to Subway’s facebook page, keep calling them and tweeting them. 

Help us put pressure on Subway to provide a timeline by:
  1. Sharing the petition via email with at least 3 friends
  2. Sharing your support on Facebook, Twitter, and Google
  3. Contacting Subway directly and asking them when they are going to remove azodicarbonamide from their bread

78,000 voices and counting deserve answers. 

There’s no stopping us now! 

Vani Hari

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead

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333 responses to “The One Thing Subway Is Still Hiding From All Of Us!

  1. Why would you eat at Subway anyway. Anytime I go in there I come out smelling like their god awful bread. The whole rest of the day I have to smell that bread…
    …And all for a bland floppy sandwich? Pass.

    Just Saying.

    1. You may not, but you are paying for the health of others eating it, through taxes, and since consumer interests are not properly represented in food industry, it does help to push the companies that consumers are noticing the quality of ingredients. In free market environment, educated consumer is an important quality driver.

      Good work, Vani.

    2. “Anytime I go in there I come out smelling like their god awful bread.”
      Why are you lecturing people, if you’re patronizing them?

  2. I will say one thing, I totally agree with taking this crap out of the bread but, now, the bread is horrible after its removal and, by horrible, I mean its not like any other bread. It’s tough to chew, doesn’t have the sponge that fresh bread has and, when you store it overnight in the refer, its worse.

    You really need good teeth to chew it.

    Don’t know what the answer is….

    1. Subway bread always has stunk. Better off getting meat at your local deli and bread at a bakery.

  3. When you say you want the same ingredients as Europe. That is all well and good but look closer start with Hydrogenated veg oil. Notice the US version does not even list oil

    1. I don’t care at all about the hydrogenated vegetable oil. The amount of preservatives in American food is ridiculous- do they use table salt or ascorbic acid? Thank them if they do.
      The amount of preservatives in American food is a disease on this country.
      If you look at the bodies of our counterparts in the UK, there is a visible difference and it’s not from boiled fat, butter, booz, cheese, meat, egg yolks or salt..actually it in part is, and they look better than us! It’s from preservatives and fake food, mainly, if you read the ingredients in their food, it’s unmistakeable. Even the Coca Colla here is full of sodium benzonate. There, nothing is listed other than sugar, which is naturally a preservative. Throw a little table salt in there! It’s a natural preservative. But perhaps people would rather see politically correct(because they don’t know what it is) toxicity than a little natural salt or sugar that humankind has used for thousands of years. Even the half and half here is often full of various garbage(take a look yourself) they could use less regular table salt without changing the flavour.
      have you read about artificial sweeteners?..the FDA thinks they are fine.
      How do they, in UK, have next to nothing for preservatives in their food? When I began reading the labels, I thought there wasn’t a disclosure law. May be there really isn’t.

      1. Does anyone know what preservatives are used in the cut to ship vegetables? Someone saying they work for subway isn’t a reliable source in any way.

  4. Something about SW never tasted quite right, even the vegs rubbery. It doesn’t taste like “fresh” at all. I don’t care for breads anyhow and so many preserves. are added to them. Yeasty; yuck!

  5. I was at Costco yesterday and noticed their crossants have azodicarbonamide as an ingredient. Anyone concerned?

  6. I am absolutely furious that Subway, the purveyors of the so called ‘eat fresh’ ad campaign, could fill their food with all these chemicals, preservatives and additives. All those times when I avoided McDonalds, Burger King, Taco Bell et al in favor of a ‘healthier’ alternative on those nights when I worked late and had kids to feed, I hate to admit that I fed my kids this crap on MANY occasions. My hubby called it first: years ago, he said that Subway was junk and that the bread sucked. He refused to eat there. Well, now I refuse to eat there too. I don’t care WHAT Subway does in the future to make amends over its poisonous bread and preservative covered vegetables and meat, I will NEVER EAT THERE AGAIN. Up yours, Subway.

    1. If people can live for years doing meth and all that stuff (literally poison), does a extremely small amount of plastic in food seem that bad? It won’t kill you or barely make a difference. Not saying you guys are overreacting though.

  7. I am a current employee at subway and the bread is the least of your worries if you are a customer. All the meat is sliced prior to shipping, the tuna is shipped from China before being refrozen and later thawed out for that ‘eat fresh’ taste. Veggies are also shipped pre sliced. There isn’t a single ingredient besides the salt and pepper that isn’t filled with preservatives for the freezing and thawing process at each subway.

  8. They will only replace it with something cheaper and more unhealthy.’s the American way!

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